Holy Smoke! Vatican to stop selling cigarettes in its shops
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis is saying “Simply Say No” to cigarettes.
The Vatican introduced Thursday that it could not promote cigarettes to workers in its obligation free store and grocery store — giving up an estimated 10 million euros ($11 million) a yr in revenue.
Francis made the choice as a result of “the Holy See can not contribute to an exercise that clearly damages the well being of individuals,” the Vatican stated. An announcement cited the World Well being Group, which says smoking causes greater than 7 million deaths yearly across the globe.
A 2015 ebook based mostly on leaked Vatican paperwork, “Avarice,” reported that cigarette gross sales herald an estimated 10 million euros a yr to the Vatican Metropolis State and are the second-most essential supply of revenue after tax-free fuel gross sales. The ebook, nonetheless, additionally reported that the booming tobacco gross sales had been an instance of how the Vatican’s tax-free business actions had been being abused.
With Italy’s VAT gross sales tax at 22 %, anybody who can get their fingers on a coveted Vatican “business card” does so because it offers them entry to a world of high-end, tax-free buying. With it, fortunate cardholders can purchase their weekly groceries on the Vatican grocery store, fill their tank on the Vatican fuel station, get a prescription crammed on the Vatican pharmacy, and do their Christmas buying on the Vatican’s division retailer — all obligation free.
And the pickings are wonderful: Cuban cigars, Samsung flat-screen TVs, prestigious wine so sought-after that the Vatican constantly tops the checklist of highest per-capita wine consumption on this planet.
Solely Vatican workers, retirees and residents, accredited diplomats and members of spiritual congregations have the suitable to a “business card” — a quantity that Ernst & Younger estimated in 2013 mustn’t exceed a number of thousand folks on condition that the Vatican employs round 5,000 folks. And but, in accordance with the E&Y audit reported in “Avarice,” 41,000 “business playing cards” had been in use.
Cardholders are restricted to purchasing 80 bins of cigarettes a yr however the audit discovered that 278 purchasers exceeded the restrict that yr.
The ebook, written by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, hypothesized that cardholders had been reselling their cigarettes underneath the desk and making a good-looking, unreported revenue.
In its assertion, the Vatican stated whereas its cigarette gross sales represented a income “no revenue might be respectable if it places lives in danger.”
For the file, Francis does not smoke however loads of his Vatican advisers do. And whereas the Vatican formally banned smoking in practically all enclosed locations in 2002, violations abound.